Highway accident dumps aviation fuel into ‘critical’ fish bearing lake

Monday, June 19th, 2017 7:22pm


Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is awaiting information from biologists after a tanker accident last Thursday released about 3,000 litres of aviation fuel into Upper Kennedy Lake, an important fish-bearing site.

The accident closed Highway 4, the route into Tofino, for approximately 24 hours. Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park Guardians attended the site immediately upon hearing of the spill, an d continue their presence there.

It is likely that soil will have to be excavated and removed as part of the remediation, reads a press statement today.

Chief Elmer Frank expressed his appreciation to those who were involved in mitigation and fuel recovery efforts.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation wants to play “an integral role in the review and implementation of any mitigation plan developed under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment.”

The guardians seek more Spill Kits to mobilize faster in response to such incidents within their traditional and unceded territory.

The nation is also asking for better communication protocols be developed between stakeholder agencies and local First Nations, and that part of any resolution of this incident include habitat restoration and measures to support salmon enhancement to mitigate any further decline of fish sto